Impassioned Call for saving the Merchant Marine

Maybe I’ve finally lost my mind but the sheer amount of bad news we have posted in the past few weeks has been overwhelming. So I’m posting an impassioned plea and a plan of action.

I created this thread to discuss it.

Here is the video and original post:

Watch: gCaptain’s Impassioned Call For Change


Real, reliable news. Odd concept nowadays.

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and here’s the thread that got me started this morning:


“A decade ago we had no votes in the IMO, and while that’s still true, the top three flags, Panama, Liberia, and the Marshall Islands are all located in North America.”

So who is this “we”? The US has been a member of the IMO (and IMCO before that). They always request and welcome input on their work for IMO. One person/group may not always change their mind, but they will listen to industry opinions. Same holds true for many other Administrations.

One must be a member state of the UN to get a vote. Are you looking to create a new country, join the UN and then get a vote at IMO? Maybe have the UN vote to change the charter of the IMO to allow NGOs (non governmental organizations) to vote?

If you want input into IMO, there are 80 NGOs that people can join to have input. OCIMF, BIMCO, CESA, CLIA, IADC, IACS, ICC, ICS, Intercargo, Interferry, RINA and just a few of them that are very active and involved. Or one can create a new NGO. The application process is right on the IMO website.

I appreciate and support the call to action, but in my opinion, just throwing stuff out there in the heat of the moment without getting the facts first, just tarnishes the message.

Well now it makes sense why the IMO has been so useless lately.

Screw the imo, it’s the immo, that has my vote. Here’s what they have to say


Well first. I happen to :heart: the immo.

Second, in my defense, pan-pan is not a distress call, it’s an urgency call.

Second this isn’t just about an “industry slump” or the US flag. I didn’t even mention the jones act or jobs in the video. It’s about the sailors stuck on MSC ships, it’s about the F’d up salvage ops in georgia, it’s about the dredge exploding in the corpus, it’s about the navy working to defund MSC, it’s about the navy pouring billions into autonomous ships to take our jobs, it’s about IMO posting videos that literally say “oil, it’s natures skin cream”, it’s about the BS ntsb report on the USS Fitzgerald, it’s about the 5 ships globally leaking oil right now, it’s about MARAD promising a national maritime strategy then not delivering, it’s about the fact our only 2 icebreakers keep catching fire… it’s about the USCG not stepping up to talk about any of this.


Wasn’t aware Navy trying to defund MSC, their best resource for supplies in their endeavors. Ironic at the least. Am sure Mr Buzby would be aware if this is/was happening. I like this guy, and am sure he is trying to stand his ground against some very tough competition. Then again, politics are relentless, right or wrong.

First, I didn’t just “throw stuff out there” I listed current headlines and facts about the industry and a list of leaders who I know care.

As for solutions, IDK, but to your point That’s exactly why my call to action was for a leader to step up and launch an investigation into the facts.

Not much get’s by that guy. He’s smart and talented. The problem is one man can only successfully fight one battle at a time and win… and the sheer number of dumpster fires right now would be overwhelming even if politics wasn’t an issue (which it very much is).

And that’s why I called for that focus to be place in the one place that could help suppress all the fires at once: a high level federal investigation into the industry.

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Agree, he is working it with what he can, the “Dumpster fires” are working against him. He ain’t laying down as the others before him, but a effing tough battle against tough implanted adversaries. No secret I support him, he is the man we have been waiting for. Sadly, he only gets a shot for 4 years. He knows how to play the game, but maritime cause is always in his back pocket.He will be missed. Hopefully, another with the same mission replaces him. Not writing him off by any means, he will be heard down the road. He’s a good forward speaker for our mariners.

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The stereotype is strong.

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What stereotype?

Americans and geography.

“Panama, Liberia, and the Marshall Islands are all located in North America”

You clearly missed the part where he said “Top 3 FLAGS

The Liberian Registry is administered by the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR, LLC), a private U.S. owned and globally operated company.

The Liberian Registry, headquartered in Dulles, Virginia (outside Washington, D.C.),


Yes, yes I did.

Time for bed I guess. Enough fool for one day.

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To be fair, while the other two are headquartered in the US, I’m under the impression that Panama’s registry is actually run out of Panama. And that is in Central America.

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Among other places.

"The Registry has introduced from 13 April electronic Ship Registration and electronic Radio Licences issued by the 13 international offices and/or by the 53 consulates offices. "

Yes Panama registry is in Panama. Yes Panama is technically in central america. Yes U.S. Influence in Panama has been waning for decades.

But if you want to focus on technicalities in my video I can point to a few dozen more individual comments I made that were generalizations which glossed over the complexity of the situation.

My point is not that the United States is a powerful and influential leader of the shipping industry (we clearly are not) but that we do have the potential to take a leadership role if we start to forge alliances within the US and with our neighbors.

The bigger point is that the rest of the world has dismissed us because they think we are an insignificant player in the global maritime industry and the sad fact is they are correct. The overwhelming majority of influence and power rests in Europe with that center of influence and power Moving east towards Asia.

What nobody else in the entire Maritime industry (both domestically and internationally) seems to realize (or, at least, is willing to acknowledge) is that the center of commercial maritime power has already shifted from Europe west (primarily thanks to astronomical growth in America’s tech and banking sectors) and the only reason that the center of influence has not followed suit is because we are Americans have Been spending the majority of our time arguing with each other and standing around with our heads up our ass.

All that is required for America To regain Leadership of this industry is to:

  1. uncork our ass and recognize the elements of power we have stumbled into.
  2. regain influence by loading all of those elements of power into the same boat
  3. hiring a captain and crew who can navigate that boat (and her cargo) in the same direction.

Not that doing those three things is going to be easy, again I’m making some broad generalizations, But I making those generalizations not from a lack of understanding but simply because the video was already 44 minutes which is way longer than most people are willing to watch.

We can debate and go over all the technicalities and map out the complexities and organize strategy later. The mission right now has to be solidly fixed an item #1: getting everyone to pull their head out of their asses just long enough to see the power that they now hold.

This should be an easy task but it’s not because:

  1. we have been trained for decades to think of ourselves as a weak maritime nation.
  2. We American merchant mariners have been lied to and mistreated for so many decades that we don’t trust anyone beyond the deck rail of our own ships.
  3. it’s difficult to focus on anything right now with a Civil War unfolding in our government and protest on the street.

Yet many are afraid to join a union and those that are union members don’t want to contribute to their PAC. Meanwhile the maritime jobs drip slowly away. The big money that owns the shipping industry are indeed many times owned by or financed by the big US banks who have zero desire to employ US mariners. After all these are the same people that financed the move of US manufacturing jobs to China, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Mexico etc.

Can’t speak for others, although retired but do contribute to the union PAC. They do have a voice, not as much as we would like, but are putting their 2 cents out there. Better than no voice at all.